In early May 2019 members of the Living Moorabool Project on which PALM sits were invited to join members of the Wadawurrung for a cultural day at a beautiful spot downstream of the Batesford Bridge.
After an extended dry period it seems the river was determined to rise to the occasion and some welcome rain in the previous week saw it presenting with a small but steady flow.
During a Welcome to Country those attending, who had been earlier asked to bring water from creek or river which was special to them, were asked to pour a little of it into a communal bowl into which gumleaves were dipped and then placed on the smoking fire. It was a moving tribute to people's connection to thier local rivers.
Members of the Wadawurrung had also woven an eel trap which was placed in the Moorabool River and an eel was presented for people to examine much to the delight of the children in attendance.
It was a great day that was in part a celebration of the fact the Wadawurrung had managed, through negotiations with the Environmental Water Holder, the CCMA and Central Highlands Water, to secure 500ML of additional environmental water for the lower Moorabool for this year.
While PALM is on record as being against inter-basin transfers in principle we feel this is a huge leap forward in involving traditional owners in decisions around water management and may perhaps soon see them securing a permanent allocation for cultural use on the Moorabool River.
As longterm advocates for the Moorabool River it is extremely heartening to have others also speaking out so strongly for it.
We wish to thank and congratulate all those involved as it adds another important, positive chapter in the fight to bring this river back from the brink and secure its long term future.